Wednesday, July 22, 2009

San Clemente Vacation

Beach Fun We spent last week soaking up some sun on the beach in San Clemente, CA. This was our second year going with friends from Arizona(pictured below) and it was such a blast! We spent hours on the beach. The kids had a great time with friends and various activities as you'll see . . .

Taft absolutely loved jumping the waves. I wish I could post all the pics I took with his varying faces as it was fun to watch him so enjoying himself. Playing with the seaweed and . . .
. . .digging were other favorite pastimes. Elaine and Taft spent hours digging up sand crabs and just filling buckets with water and sand. I think at one count Elaine had 24 sand crabs and her friend Eleanor an additional 25.

Elaine is buried up to her neck here in the sand with some other of our friends' kids. It was a funny site to see these heads lined up along the beach. Dave was quite speedy at it and I think only took about 2 minutes to bury a child. It took quite a bit longer to wash all the sand off Ü

Briggy wasn't the biggest fan of the sand and surf. This was the only time he actually ventured off the mats to get his toes wet. He spent a lot of time just napping under the umbrella. Maybe next year we'll get him on the boogie board.

And Boogie Boarding was Dallin's new favorite experience this year. He did quite well and enjoyed it until he started swallowing too much water.

Elaine and Dallin had fun in the surf with Daddy. Kirt spent quite a bit of time playing on the boogie board. I even ventured out a couple of times with my bulging belly--a little trickier, but not impossible and such fun!

It wouldn't be a day at the beach without a sandcastle. The kids didn't do this alone. Aaron Kahle was the main architect, but they all enjoyed 'helping' in some small way. We really had a fun group of kids and adults to play with on this trip.

And here they all are. We had six families, Us, Watts, Fishbecks, Petersens, Guffeys, and Wilkes(Lori-sister) with 24 kids total. We camped and played together for a week and all got a long with little drama. (We even had some other families from our ward who we hung out with on the beach, but camped at a neighboring campsite.) It was nice to have such neat friends to hang out with--thanks for planning it all Lori!

Here is a shot of our tent trailer, Brigham is at the door. It was definitely a nice upgrade from a tent. And another shot of our mini-tent city we created with all the families. We could see the ocean from our campground (and I even saw a skunk one night--eew). It was great getting the kids to bed and then chatting with the adults around the campfire. Not to mention some yummy dutch oven cobblers and s'mores enjoyed around that campfire, too.
Whale Watching Trip

We took a day with just our family to see some sites other than the beach. We went Whale/Dolphin watching on a boat out to sea for a few hours. It was an exciting little adventure.

We got very close with the dolphins. 'Schools' of them would just swim and splash around the boat, if the railing wasn't so high we could've petted them.

Here's some shots of the multitude of them just swimming around. It was neat to see the baby dolphins swim next to their moms underwater. Unfortunately, we didn't see any whales this trip.
At times the boat got going pretty fast making things quite choppy. All the boys ended up inside with a bit of seasickness. Elaine seemed unaffected and just loved watching the dolphins play.

Going Home
All good things must come to an end. Here we are all packed up and ready to head home. The drive was a bit longer towing a trailer and then made even longer as 50 miles from home we got stuck in a dust storm for over an hour. There was zero visibility at times. I had to wash off everything on the trailer when we returned. But, yes it was worth it for all the good times we had, not to mention cooler temps Ü Looking forward to going again next year!

Catchin' Up!

Now that I am no longer nauseated and exhausted all day long, I figured its time to catch up a bit on my blog. ((Plus, I will post tomorrow about our recent vacation to San Clemente). The following is only a small sampling of some of our family's activities over these past months-enjoy!

Happy 4th!--Bioshpere Adventure
We toured the Bioshpere near Tuscon for a little activity on the 4th. It is quite an exhibit. For those not familiar, scientists lived in this enclosed space for 2 years providing own air and food, etc. There's varying environments inside from rainforest to desert. It is now a research facility for ASU.
Afterwards, a couple of Kirt's friends from High School (Matt Kikuchi and Matt Hymas) and their families came over for a BBQ and swim and then we went to check out some fireworks. It was all sort of a last minute get together which turned out to be a great time.
Happy 9th Birthday Dallin! On June 11th we celebrated Dallin's 9th birthday. Where does the time go?! He is one terrific Dallin :) I really love his smile and relaxed attitude. He is very protective of his younger siblings--when he's not the one wrestling them to the ground. He likes riding his bike and scooter, creating lego scenes, candy, and reading. He has a 'fun' sense of humor that his friends, if not always his parents, enjoy.

We do parties everyother year and he had a big swim party last year so this was supposed to be a no friend party year. But, we let the kids have 1 friend over for dinner or something. Well, Dallin is quite social and we live on a street with a lot of 9 year old boys he plays with so it was hard to pick just one. So, I somewhat relented and we invited the neighbor kids over to have some ice cream sundaes to celebrate Dallin's special day.

Later we had a family party. Which consisted of us going to eat at Sweet Tomatos and then watching Dallin open a few presents. He is big into Legos this year and was excited in this picture to get the Indiana Jones Lego Star Wars wii game. It was a fun 'low key' b-day. And we were happy to see Dallin enjoy himself on his special day! We love him lots!!!
Happy Easter I have to get one nice Easter picture each year. I promised the kids if they would smile and not whine about the sun I'd only take one--so here it is.

In their baskets this year the bunny brought them all new balls with some other goodies. We also enjoyed an egg hunt with flashlights the night before at the park by our house with some families from our ward and neighborhood. Dallin found the 'gold' egg and earned a special prize,too. We ended the day by having the missionaries join us for dinner. It was a great Easter weekend.